France’s dynamic Agat Films-Ex Nihilo unveils eclectic shared slate (exclusive)

Source: Cannes

‘The Most Precious Of Cargoes’

Paris production house Agat Films – Ex Nihilo, which has six films in Cannes, is now in various stages of production on six more titles including Robert Guedigian’s drama Stealing Angel, starring Ariane Ascaride and Jean-Paul Darroussin that is in post. Playtime is handling sales.

Agat Films- Ex Nihilo are separate entities operating under the same banner. “We are a house of auteur cinema,” said producer Nicolas Blanc. “We are at the service of auteurs – we like what they think, what they say and how they say it.”

International titles in the works include Thierry Machado’s Inuit -language Yura, a Greenland-set family adventure about a young girl learning the art of dog sledding. The co-production with Galatée Film is in development. 

The company is also co-producing Pierre Le Gall’s Made of Flesh And Fuel with Poland’s Lumisenta, a love story about two male truck drivers, and is in post on Lola Doillon’s romantic comedy Différente.

Also in post is Michel Leclerc’s #metoo-themed Pourvu qu’il Soit Doux, starring Lea Drucker, Benjamin Lavernhe and Vincent Elbaz, while Amine Adjina’s La Petite Cuisine de Mehdi stars Hiam Abbas in the comedy drama about a woman who fears her adult son is losing track of his Algerian heritage.

Wednesday dinner

The two companies merged 30 years ago and downsized in 2021 when any partners over age 65 stepped down, leaving Blanc, Marc Bordure, Muriel Meynard and David Coujard to run the show. Other past partners like Patrick Sobelman and  Guédigian continue to produce for the banner and the producers meet as a group for what they call “mass” every Wednesday night over dinner when they discuss all of the projects in the works.

“We share everything except for taste,” Meynard explained.  “We all know every detail about every project, but we each have our own autonomy and freedom.”

Sobelman explains that each producer operates independently based on a “common idealogy, but individual tastes.”

They often do not agree. “I’ve produced many films at this company that no one liked,” Sobelman revealed. The producer most recently spearheaded production on Michel Hazanavicius’ The Most Precious Of Cargoes, optioning the book rights and attaching the filmmaker to what has been a passion project six years in the making.

The companies’ Cannes films are: The Most Precious Of Cargoes (Competition), The Marching Band (Un Certain Regard) Holy Cow (Directors’ Fortnight) Eat the Night (Critics’ Week) Block Pass ( Critics’ Week), and Jacques Demy: Le Rose Et Le Noir (Classics), a likely record for an indie production company.

Originally published at



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